We have a new winner for the biggest bank failure this year: Expect this debacle to cost the FDIC’s insurance fund $4.9 billion.


BankUnited’s failure is a stark reminder of how fragile many banks in the country remain. The U.S.’s 19 biggest banks this month performed better than expected on government “stress tests” and several large and midsize banks in recent weeks have successfully raised capital through public stock offerings. Government officials say they are still concerned, though, about dozens of banks across the country that made bad bets on real estate, and these troubles will likely continue to ripple through the financial system.


BankUnited Financial Corp., the ailing Florida lender, was shut by federal regulators and its assets were sold to private-equity firms including WL Ross & Co. and Carlyle Group in the largest U.S. bank failure this year. The group’s purchase of the bank, deemed “critically undercapitalized” by the Office of Thrift Supervision, was the “least costly” resolution, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said today in a statement. The closing will cost the insurance fund $4.9 billion, pushing the total cost of 34 seizures so far this year to more than $10 billion.

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